Volume 1.2, 2005
Imagine turning back the hands of time without undergoing major surgery Joann Nishihara Kulaski of San Francisco did just that with a “weekend facelift”. “A few years ago someone took a photo of my profile” Joann says. “When I saw my profile, I was horrified. lt looked as if l didn’t have a chin.
An attractive brunette of Okinawan-German-Polish descent, Joann always hated what she perceived as her weak chin. “As the years went by, l felt both my chin and neckline lacked definition,” says Joann, who recently turned 50. ” l felt Iike I needed a tune up I didn’t want to change my age – I just wanted to look as good on the outside as I felt on the inside.”
The divorced mother of three leads an active life that could make someone half her age envious. She routinely works 12 hour shifts as a nurse, and performs Okinawan dancing and Eisa Taiko, a form of Okinawan drumming. After making the decision to enhance her appearance, Joann began researching various Bay Area plastic surgeons. She was intrigued to read about Dr David Kahn, a San Francisco plastic surgeon and one of the pioneers of “weekend face lift ” procedures.
She was immediately taken by the warm welcome she received when she entered Dr Kahn’s office. “The staff was having lunch” Joann says. “They offered me a salad and made me fee right at home.”
Dr. Kahn explained that weekend facelift procedures are designed for men and women generally between the ages of 40 and 65. Upon reaching middle age, many people lose elasticity in their skin and develop looseness along the jawline and under the chin. Weekend facelift procedures produce significant age diminishing effects without major surgery.
After consulting with Dr. Kahn, Joann opted for a chin implant to add definition to her face, and procedures to tighten her facial muscles. She also decided to have some liposuction. “When I hit 50, I found that it was hard to lose the extra pounds around my abdomen, even though I’m very active”, Joann says. “Dr Kahn agreed that liposuction would help define my waist”.
As the surgery date approached, Joann was more nervous about the reaction from her hospital colleagues than the surgery itself. “I wasn’t sure what my coworkers would make of my new look”, Joann says, “but I knew this was something I needed to do”.
Joann sailed through surgery and admits she could have returned to work the next day But since she had taken several weeks off, she decided to take advantage of her time off and relax. “I wasn’t in pain” Joann says, “I felt great. A month after surgery I resumed my dancing and was jumping around on stage.”
So how did friends, colleagues, and family members react? “My three kids were great”, says Joann. Her nursing colleagues were also supportive and some did a double take when they first saw her in the halls. “Many of my friends have told me l’m brave for taking steps to enhance my appearance”, Joann says. I feel like a pioneer – and it’s been fun getting some new looks from men.
“The surprise gift of this whole experience is how it’s made me a better nurse” she says. “I really didn’t know what it felt like to be pampered. I now have a deeper understanding of how to really be a caregiver”.